When my friend Ryan Michie told me to that I needed to go the YAL National Convention, I had never even heard of Young Americans for Liberty.
The reason I went was because I knew that I loved promoting liberty, so I might as well check it out. When I went to the convention I was blown away on how many college students were willing to fight for liberty. Being a Marine Corps veteran I started college late and most people I had seen in college seemed to not care mush about politics. So just being in a room of college kids filled with energy and a will to fight for a cause motivated me beyond belief. I knew Young Americans for Liberty was right for me.
I went back home and started a chapter right away at Harper College. I found out quickly that I needed some help. So I recruited my friend Kristie Constabileo to be my Vice President. She became my go-to girl in the process and was vital to this club getting off of the ground, and maintaining our chapter. In less than 4 months we successfully recruited 18 members, with 14 of them becoming dues paying members. We organized a panel discussion with professors from our school and John Marshal Law School to talk about separation of powers for constitution week, held a state legislator panel, civil liberties cemetery organized two events for Choose Charity, and most importantly gained a majority vote of YAL members in Student Government. We plan on using this majority vote to ad amendments to the Constitution that let Student Senators be elected by the student body instead of being appointed by the President of the Senate.
All of this work was very time consuming but it was 100% worth the effort. YAL has become a top club at our campus and we made the school newspaper twice.
The one thing I learned in my short time as President is that when recruiting members, try not to focus as much on your ideologies, and focus more on what events your club does and how the club can benefit the recruit. When I used this strategy some people left but most stayed. A majority of the people in my chapter were not libertarian when they signed up. But when they work events that promote liberty, they will always on their own time look up what the event is all about. The ones who like the idea stay and the ones who don’t leave. In my opinion this is the best way to get people involved in your chapter.
I have made some great friends in my chapter and I am grateful for all the leadership in YAL that helped me successful make this work. I am so happy that Young Americans for Liberty has appointed me the State Chair of Illinois and I will do everything I can to make YAL have a huge impact on college campuses around the state.
I would like to end by thanking everyone in the William Rainey Harper Chapter for such a good semester, everything we accomplished was from your time and effort. In such a little time we made such a big impact on our campus, and without you guys I wouldn’t have had the honor of running such a great chapter.Published in